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Advances in Quantitative Ethnography




Quantitative Ethnography (QE) is an emerging methodological approach that combines ethnographic and statistical tools to analyze both Big Data and smaller data to study human behavior and interactions. This paper presents a methodological scoping review of 60 studies employing QE approaches with an intention to characterize and establish where the boundaries of QE might and should be in order to establish the identity of the field. The key finding is that QE researchers have enough commonality in their approach to the analysis of human behavior with a strong focus on grounded analysis, the validity of codes and consistency between quantitative models and qualitative analysis. Nonetheless, in order to reach a larger audience, the QE community should attend to a number of conceptual and methodological issues (e.g. interpretability). We believe that the strength of work from individual researchers reported in this review and initiatives such as the recently established International Society for Quantitative Ethnography (ISQE) can present a powerful force to shape the identity of the QE community.


This paper is part of the proceedings for the International Conference on Quantitative Ethnography 2020.

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